5 Ways To Make B2B Communications More Effective

 five quick tips for making your communications more powerfulWhat is your one competitive advantage – smarter? faster? cheaper? – or the most service-driven player in the field? You need to find it and communicate it. Because being all things to all people went out with floppy disks and slide projectors.

This insight comes from Bill Faust, managing partner at Ologie. I’m sharing his original article combined with an updated version from the Ologie site: Think B2B doesn’t apply to you? Think again.

Use these 5 tips to power up your B2B marketing

5 Tips fopr making B2B communications more powerfulCommunicating with a business audience is very different from talking to consumers. And this is important because just about organization has to do both.

Here are five quick tips for making your communications more powerful, B2B or not.

1. Simplify the complex

Channel Marketing Can Help You Through The Customer MazeDon’t hide behind your jargon. Every potential client or prospect wants the plain truth – straight talk, simple terms and no-nonsense explanations.

Regardless of how complex the product or service, avoid the temptation of using complicated explanations and overly technical copy to make your selling point. You understand it, your customers might not.

Break it down into simple chunks and focus on the benefits. Skip the laundry list and focus on the relevant results. Walk step by step through your business. It’s complex information. Show them that you’re smart enough to keep it simple.

 2. Focus on the benefits

In any industry, it’s easy to get caught up in who you are and what you do: your products, your services, your offers, your approach, and your capabilities. But your clients would rather hear about what’s in it for them. As you communicate, stay focused on the benefits—what you will do for clients. You’re bound to make more connections that way.

3. Consistency, consistency, consistency

Consistency Consistency ConsistencyIn real estate, it’s location, in B2B it’s consistency. Consistent execution. Consistent branding. Consistent focus.

This is especially true for communications. From your website to collateral to PowerPoint presentations, show a clear and consistent image with a single, powerful voice. One-eyed branding. There’s too much competition out there already – don’t add to that by looking like two companies instead of one.

4. Make the intangible tangible

confused-manNo matter what you’re selling, from legal advice to IT consulting to business insurance, there are ways to make intangible products and services tangible.

Use narratives, metaphors, analogies, and case studies. Lean on video, photography, and infographics. Make what you do more tangible, and you’ll quickly transform your communications.

Remember; just because you get it doesn’t mean your customers do. You live it, every day. And, believe it or not, that can be a disadvantage.

So think like your prospect.  Get in their head. Step back and ask the dumb questions. The same questions your customer is probably asking all the time. After all, a little naivete can go a long way.

5. Be bold and behold

keep-calm-and-be-boldB2B doesn’t mean your marketing has to be like watching paint dry. Differentiate your company and your offer by being bold and taking some chances. Stand out in the crowd. Use your communications to get noticed and get your message to cut through in a crowded marketplace.

Many marketers assume that they have to be emotionless, or they won’t be taken seriously. Nonsense. Most B2B marketing requires communicating with senior management. Don’t underestimate them. They’re educated, sophisticated and well-traveled. They get humor and subtle messaging. They appreciate the unexpected. They look for out-of-the-box thinking. Show all of that in your communications.

Use your communications to stand out in the crowd, and you’ll get your message across. The safe road isn’t always the one leading to prosperity.

Good Selling!

Active Search Results (ASR) is an independent Internet Search Engine using a proprietary page ranking technology with Millions of popular Web sites indexed.

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How Inspired Is Your Brand?

Steve JobsDo you market to your employees as powerfully as you do to your customers?

It seems that marketing teams are always customer facing. Sure that’s where the sales dollars are, but why stop there?

Employees can be your best marketing ambassadors. In fact, they can be a social media powerhouse for you.

But there are some brands that shift the focus. Brands like Apple or IKEA. Those brands create a powerful force through their employees.

What happens when the marketing team focuses first on employees and then on its customers?

How Inspired Is Your Brand?Patrick Neeman posted How Inspired Is Your Brand? Read Apple’s Onboarding Letter . He found an old blog post from a new Apple hire and reposted Apple’s welcome letter.

Like most great communications, it’s short and simple. Which only makes it more powerful:

Here’s what Apples’ onboarding welcome letter said

There’s work and there’s your life’s work.

The kind of work that has your fingerprints all over all. The kind of work that you’d never compromise on. That you’d sacrifice a weekend for. You can do that kind of work at Apple. People don’t come here to play it safe. They come here to swim in the deep end.

They want their work to add up to something.

Something big. Something that couldn’t happen anywhere else.

Welcome to Apple.

Apple is not alone. IKEA is another standout in harnessing the passion of its employees.

Does your company even come close to something like this?

Good Selling!

Active Search Results (ASR) is an independent Internet Search Engine using a proprietary page ranking technology with Millions of popular Web sites indexed.

3 Ways to Grow Your Online Sales

e-commerce is a growth machineE-commerce is a growth machine for many manufacturers. It’s considered organic growth and many worry it’s ultimately undermining the traditional channels of distribution.

But for now, it is opportunity that you need to leverage.

Is E-commerce your fastest growing channel?

Is ecommerce your fastest growing channel?There are basic three ways that you can use to grow your ecommerce business. Granted, this is an oversimplification, but it will help you focus your efforts and drive your tactics for sales growth.

  1. Add more online customers
  2. Add more products to the customers you already have
  3. Promote your online listings

Adding more online retailers really means building a Direct to Consumer business model

ecommerce(1)Once you develop the capacity to handle online sales the process is fairly easy to expand. The exception is if you have a warehouse program (with Amazon.com, for example) and you are shifting gears over to a Direct to Consumer shipping model.

D2C is the foundation that most etailers are looking for. It shifts the cost structure to you (your team warehousing and shipping) but it makes doing business with those etailers as simple as establishing your skus on their website.

More products will help build sales but not overnight

Overwhelmed onlineIt makes sense that as you add more products you will increase your sales with an online retailer. The problem is that those sales take time to build into any real volume.

There are so many products for sale online now that it’s hard to get new products noticed. And the websites they are on are looking for consumer views, sales and recommendations before they are going to get much visibility.

Getting attention online means spending money to make money

How do you gain visibility in an online marketplace? Really the answer is site dependent but the ideas are the same for almost any site.

  1. Use key search terms
  2. Make it visual
  3. Pay attention to reviews

Getting attention online means spending money to make moneyAvoid “salesy” marketing copy and use everyday search terms that will drive viewers to your listings. Consumers are rarely search for your brand names. Your familiarity with your products is likely clouding your judgment about how consumers will search for your product category.

Many sites allow for extensive use of rich marketing content like photography, 360 degree views, video, instructions sheets, FAQ’s, and the like. Consumers look at the pictures first to narrow down what they are looking for – they are not reading your features and benefits so make those picture count.

Success is also dependent on the reviews your product has. You may think you are in great shape – 5 stars all the way – but if you have only a few reviews, consumers will be suspicious and the site algorithms won’t push your product to the top of the search results. On the other hand, a composite four-star rating or better with 75 or so reviews will help you gain critical placement in site searches, allowing you to gain more sales with less traffic. Had a negative review come through? Respond to it online in a positive manner to show you are engaged with the customer.

Good Selling!

Active Search Results (ASR) is an independent Internet Search Engine using a proprietary page ranking technology with Millions of popular Web sites indexed.